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Fragrant, exotic orchids in Jiangsu
Wuxi, in Jiangsu province, is celebrating Spring Festival in a colorful way, with an orchid exhibition in its Tortoise Head Garden. Visitors can get a taste of the Chinese cultural connotations of orchids, which represent virtue and integrity.
The show, running from Feb 2 to 17, will have more than 100 types of orchids on display, including a rare Faber cymbidum and some orchids that grow to the south of the Yangtze River, as well as various award-winning species.
Tortoise Head Garden, which sits on a peninsula in Taihu Lake, China's biggest freshwater lake, is famous for its spectacular views. There will be other Spring-Festival-related activities on the peninsula at the same time.
Enjoy a lantern gala in an ancient town
The annual lantern festival will be hosted during the Spring Festival in the ancient town of Pingyao, Shanxi province, where the movie Raise the Red Lantern, directed by China's Zhang Yimo, was shot.
Visitors can bathe themselves in the joyful atmosphere of the Lunar New Year and enjoy all kinds of traditional celebrations and local folk performances staged there, including New Year couplets, local operas, lion dances, and riddles written on lanterns.
If they like tourists can choose an inn for the night so they can enjoy the gorgeous lanterns hanging all over the town.
The annual event draws about 40,000 visitors every year. The local newspaper provides a travel guide.
Harbinger of spring in Guizhou
Libo county, in Guizhou province, is famous for its wild plum blossoms, so it is holding its sixth plum blossom festival on Jan 15 to give visitors a look at its gorgeous, multicolored plum blossoms .
The village of Mucao is thought by some to be the best place to view the blossoms. It has more than 1,300 square kilometers of primitive forest on a karst landscape nearby.
The ride to Libo, from Guiyang airport, takes six hours by bus. Mucao takes another 40 minutes from the town of Libo.
A great, volcanic crater
Crater Park, in Haikou, capital of Hainan province, is a geological park and popular tourist destination that will be offering discounts and good travel choices, to promote tourism during "Golden Week", Feb 2 to 8.
In addition to ticket discounts and flavorful local foods in its restaurants, the park will have folk performances like the bamboo dance, on stage, throughout the week.
There will be a new tourist route through a historical village that has been preserved over the centuries, added to the volcano views.
The volcanic park, 20 kilometers from downtown Haikou, covers a 108-sq-km area and has a cone formed more than 10,000 years ago.
Folk culture festival
Qinghai province's Huangyuan county will be holding its third folk culture festival, Jan 11 to March 6, as part of the lunar New Year celebrations.
The festival will center on folk culture in Dan'ge'r, a town with a history of more than 600 years, which naturally blends farming and prairie culture.
Visitors can enjoy folk performances like traditional festivities, a folk garment show, a live caravan show at a temple fair, and even traditional sports and games.
The most important part of the event, a lantern festival, will be held in the main street of the old town and in the town of Huangyuan, where local foods will be available.
Adventure trail for nature lovers
Hikers, joggers, bicyclists and equestrians are expected to be the visitors to the new "Sacramento River Trail", near the town of Redding, in northern California, the United States. The 56-kilometer trail links the Sundial Bridge over the Sacramento River, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, with Shasta Dam, California's tourism office has reported. One 24-kilometer stretch of the trail is paved, and passes through, among other places, an old railroad tunnel. The rest of the trail is unpaved. (www.shastacascade.com)
A380 focuses on businessmen
South Korea's Korean Air has announced plans to convert the entire top deck of its Airbus A380 jetliners into business class seating. The airline's first A380s will begin operations between Korea and Japan and East Asia in May. There is space for 94 passenger seats in the top deck's Prestige Class area, with a 1.88-meter space between each of them. The seatbacks can be lowered into a bed. (www.koreanair.com)
(China Daily 02/08/2011 page10)